Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2012

CPoP (“Chumley”) must be the best petrolhead secret of the moment.  Cursed by bad weather, that makes it the ultimate opportunity for hardy car-nuts to get properly close to the pops and bangs.  This year we did both Saturday and Sunday, and it worked really well.  No pressure to see everything on day 1, we just ambled around and had a jolly good time.

Goodwood of the North?  Nah.  It’s much better than that  :)


(click on any of these pics to make them bigger)

David tries out the Renault Twizy for size.  The doors are options…


The new Caterham track/race car – the SP/300.R.


Justin Law’s XJR-15 – essentially the roadgoing Le Mans car!


and the full fat XJ220.


mmm … McLaren …


This is a busy car.  It went from here to the Supercar Day at Dunsfold, then onto Company Car in Action at Millbrook, where it zoomed past me on the high speed bowl like I was standing still.  Well, I was only doing 140 at the time (!)


The million quid Aston One-77.  Very sexy, but really, a million quid?  They saw you coming….


Cuppa in the Cheshire rain.


Grass tracking in a … erm, I guess that was a Fiesta at some point.


Ho ho, you grass-tracking guys  :)


This started life as a Micra.


GTD40.  Sexy.


Why you shouldn’t drink and drive.  Reason 1.


Why you shouldn’t drink and drive.  Reason 2.


Why you shouldn’t drink and drive.  Reason 3.  Be careful out there folks.


Checking out the Boxster.  Specced up, this one was listed at SIXTY GRAND?!  Walk away.


Ah, the Cayman R.  That’s more like it.


Jo likes it too.  Could this be the next Copson car?


David tries on a pimped Defender for size.


Mike can’t hide his revulsion.


Air show!  Vroom!


This is a bike.  I’m almost certain of that.


And this is how I feel when I’m on a bike.  Only less safe.


Go Chumley!




I have no idea what that is.  I could take a stab in the dark and say Hispano Suiza, but it could equally be a Bernie Meldrew.  I don’t know.


Ah, we know how much trouble, usually serious that one would be.  But soooo much fun until it fell apart…


Oh no!  One of the wheels has fallen off!  This one’s called a Triking 3W, apparently.


and a Mercedes Streamliner that was putting in plenty of mileage.


Can’t resist the Stratos.


Yes, that is a Daf.  And yes, it does have a V8.  And yes, it did break down  :D

Suffering from ignition failure, it’s Tony Hazlewood’s 5.0-litre Rover V8 engined Daf 55 supersaloon, which used to battle with Gerry Marshall’s “Baby Bertha” back in the day.


Whiley’s Speedwell.  In his words, he “ran out of talent” during a practice run and went home wounded…


Lining up for the start.


Lotus Cortina … love these.


Think we all know what that is…


Short wheelbase Quattro, yummy.


“Schwimmwagen” – literally: “no-sinky-sinky-broom-broom”.


Roland Ratzenberger’s E30 – right-hand drive, making it a bit of a rarity.


Impossibly noisy, smelly and fiery 42-litre Packard Bentley.

Starting her up…

Holy cockfarts … glad I wasn’t standing six feet to my left …


Rickety old 3 wheeler.


Stratos lining up behind the 1000bhp Supra.


Ferrari California moseying unobtrusively in the car park.


Moo-Moo curry signifying the end of day 1.


And Geri finishing off David’s cuppa…


Sunday starts with a beautiful Elan.


Oooo … Shelby Daytona coupe … mmmm


GTD40 waiting for its next outing.  You can believe it’s only 40 inches floor-to-roof.


Brutus making its cacophonic way to the start line.  Brutus is a 47-litre chain-driven experimental monster made around 1930.

and back after its run.  It belts out 750bhp at under two thousand rpm!

Torching the grass on cool-down.

Brutus’s cockpit.


Erm … don’t know what this was.  I just liked it.


Inside the XJ220 race car, with a CD and nowhere to play it!  If you zoom in closely you can see it’s actually video footage from one of the Cobras.


Nearly walked straight past this, thinking it was a shallow marketing ploy, but the name on the window gave it away – this is Juha Kankkunen’s Bentley that he recently broke the world ice speed record with.  The hook at the back is the parachute deployment system!


Lining up a C-Type at the start.


XK140 on track.


Tasty old Elite stonks away.


Oooo it’s that XJ220 again.


Bentley’s Le Mans vanquisher.


Scott Mansell about to set the Cholmondeley lap record in the new Caterham SP/300.R.


3 wheeled Grinnall Scorpion prepares for a run.


Rickety old 3 wheeler shows how un-rickety it is by doing a burnout to warm up its single rear tyre.


Very well prepared Fiat 500 monster captures Mike’s imagination.


The view away from the cars  :)


My new best mate Steve Cropley from Autocar pedalling the Twizy round the course.


And on the way out, an Ascari and Enzo inconspicuously hanging out in the car park like they do it every day!


Some clips:


And that’s Chumley folks.  I’ll be there next year.  Maybe we’ll see some of you there.

Pig in a Poke….. Update

Hurrah! It’s not a bag of bolts!
It’s a green Eunos with lots of stretch marks and loads of history. Albeit without a cambelt change in 13 years!
Jimbo arrived safely at Mikeys on Saturday morning and informed me that the car ran well and has lovely balance and grip. That means it drifts at will on it’s ditchfinder (Runway) radials. Jimbo also assured me that the speed limiter still works!
Much polishing has brought the very dull Neo Green paintwork back to life and the interior needs a damn good shampoo and spruce up.
Happy? I’m over the moon.
More updates to come as no doubt I’ll discover a few age related issues as time goes on.
For now though I’m whooping for joy rather than regretting my purchase.

Pig in a poke. Didn’t even get a poke!

Well I’ve done what they say you never should do……
I’ve bought a car without seeing it over the phone!!!

Yes I know what you’re thinking… but hang on a minute. It cost me £600! That isn’t a small amount of money but it isn’t a large sum either.
Jim is kind enough to go and pick it up for me tomorrow, and only then will he know what I’ve bought. Banger or bargain?
The car? A Mazda Eunos (MX5) with a few trips to the moon and back on the clock, and some laquer lift in a few places.
The reason…. It’s cheap and it has MOT and TAX, and like Jim I do believe that sometimes less is more. I already have a very spammed up MX5 with lots of trick goodies and sticky tyres, but a standard one on ditchfinder radials may prove more fun on the road.
All will be revealed on Saturday at Cholmondeley’s Pagent of Power, when I will see it in the car park for the first time, (providing that it makes it up from Jim’s and / or doesn’t kill him on route!)
Stay posted for whoops of joy or tears and tantrums!


Jimbo catches a break

I had to share this one with you all, because days with broken cars don’t usually turn out this well.

As you know from the previous post, the NSX’s clutch expired as I was joining a crowded M25 last week.  Since last year’s drama of the Elise’s overheating clutch in an unusually balmy Belgium, I’ve been experimenting with clutchless gearchanges.  I probably took a few years off the life of each gearbox in the process, but now I can do it reasonably reliably, so I was able to limp the NSX home even though the clutch pedal was completely useless.

At that point I got thoroughly demoralised and left it parked outside over the long holiday weekend, by which time the whole fleet was out of action, because the MX5, the only remaining fit car, ran out of MOT.  Six cars and they’re all unfit for driving.  Maybe I should take up a cheaper hobby, like running an F1 team.

Eventually I got around to calling Max at Lakeside, who said the Elise was ready for collection, so I gritted my teeth, planned a route with minimum junctions, checked the traffic news for any potential show-stopping jams and headed out to limp the NSX to the garage.  Now.  Getting it off the blocks is going to be the tricky bit.  I’ll have to start it in gear, which will cause it to jump forward, then I’ll need to catch the momentum and head off.  If I have to stop, it might be game over and hello Mr Green Flag for a ride on a recovery truck.

Right.  Immobiliser off.  Ignition on.  In gear.  Check clutch pedal.  It’s stuck to the floor as expected.  For no real reason I try to wedge my toe under it and PA-DOING it springs back!  Hmmm.  I give it a few tentative prods and it feels completely normal.  Most odd.

OK, let’s give it a go.  Start in neutral.  Select first.  Tickle away.  Biting point’s in the right place; all is normal.  I’m suspicious.  It can’t have fixed itself.  Can it?

Oh well, I suppose I’ll finish the journey anyway – I can have a chat with Max and Tim at Lakeside and if they think it’s a one-off, I can just bring it home again.

Lakeside is about half an hour from me, and for that half hour it felt so normal that I even changed route and went the back way to use some fun roads.  Miraculous.  You’d never know there’d been a problem.  Until, that is, I pulled into Lakeside’s car park and stopped.  Oooo that felt a bit odd as I came to a stop.  I’ve parked somewhere I shouldn’t, so I stick it in reverse (which just slots in) and then edge it back … yes, definitely a problem, the biting point is on the floor again.  I let it roll back and take it out of reverse – and yes, it’s completely buggered again.  It won’t go back into reverse.

I now feel like I’ve had a huge dose of good fortune.  I drove all the way here with no drama, and the problem came back as I was parking the car at the garage.  How lucky is that?  If it hadn’t recurred, the garage probably wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it, because they couldn’t see it happening.  What an immensely satisfying stroke of luck.

Jimbo happy  :)